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Are Solar Shingles Worth It?

As the need to replace fossil fuel sources with renewable energy has grown, so has the availability of renewable power options. And today, there are now more residential solar energy options available to homeowners beyond installing traditional rooftop solar panels. One newer option is solar shingles. Solar shingles are designed to look like traditional roof shingles with a twist – they generate solar energy for your home that can help offset electricity costs. But installation does not come cheap. So, is the cost of solar shingles worth it?

detailed view of curved solar shingles

What are Solar Shingles?

Simply put, solar shingles are basic roof tiles that contain solar cells that generate solar power. These photovoltaic roof tiles are designed to look more like standard roof shingles to improve their aesthetic appearance on homes.

Solar shingles are quite sturdy and used in place of traditional asphalt shingles, so at the time of solar installation, existing roofing materials will need to be torn off your roof and replaced with the solar shingle product.

Solar shingles are designed with an energy-efficient lifespan of 25-30 years, which is a good timeline to keep in mind when calculating costs for a new roof. Unlike traditional solar panels, solar shingles cannot be easily removed and reconnected if you move, so you need to stay in the same home for a longer duration of time to see a return on your investment.

How Much Does Solar Shingles Installation Cost?

The cost of solar shingles varies depending on the manufacturer, the size of your home, how many solar shingles you need to have installed on your roof, and the labor rates for your local solar shingle roofing company.

Still, due to their aesthetics and functionality, installing solar shingles will have a higher price tag than regular shingles or rooftop solar panels. The average cost of installation for rooftop solar shingles is between $60,000 – $75,000, compared to a cost of up to $20,000 or more for traditional rooftop solar, depending on the size of the system.

Solar Shingles vs. Roof-Mounted Solar Panels

When it comes to deciding between solar shingles and roof-mounted solar panels, there are a few key factors you need to consider.

Aesthetics: do you want your renewable energy system to be hidden or blend in with your home? Solar shingles offer a more seamless look for your home, whereas rooftop solar panels are more noticeable.

Cost: Solar shingles are significantly more expensive to install than rooftop solar panels. So if you’re trying to save money, solar panels may be your better option.

Maintenance: Solar shingles are designed to last up to three decades, so once installed, you shouldn’t have to worry about them. On the other hand, Rooftop solar panels may need to be replaced or repaired every 10-15 years.

Length of stay: Solar shingles are not easily removed, so if you think you may move in the next 10-15 years, solar panels may be a better option since they can be taken with you.

Solar Roof Shingles vs. Community Solar

Similar to rooftop solar panels, there are pros and cons to installing solar shingles on your home.

Solar Shingle

Aside from the initial cost of installation, it is important to check and understand the power warranty information so that you are aware of what costs you will be responsible for if any part of the roof fails. Most solar shingles will begin producing less energy production during the last decade of the roof life.

Community Solar

Any homeowner that is exploring cost-effective energy resources with solar should also look into Community Solar, which has no upfront costs. Unlike rooftop solar options, Community Solar programs do not require home installation, hence the “no fees” solar option. This opens up solar availability to homeowners, renters, and businesses alike in most cases as well.

Community Solar farms like those operated by Clearway Community Solar work by supplying the high-efficiency clean energy that they produce directly to the power grid. In return, subscribers receive solar bill credits on their utility bills, helping lower utility charges.

Solar panels with wind turbines and transmission tower

Is the Cost of Installing Solar Shingles Worth it?

Both rooftop and Community Solar options use solar energy to help support a more sustainable future and save homeowners money in the process. The choice of which solar option you choose, ultimately comes down to how much upfront money you want to invest and how much maintenance you are willing to take on to support solar energy for your home over the long run.

If you would like to learn more about how you can get involved with Community Solar, contact Clearway today.

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